Angry Letters: ‘Hustle & Flow’

Regarding my review of “Hustle & Flow” — one of only a few mildly negative reviews it has gotten — I received this e-mail from a fellow identifying himself as “Michael”:

I read your review on Hustle and Flow. It is obvious you have no idea what you are talking about. Hustle and Flow and 8 Mile have nothing whatsoever in common. Just because both have Hip Hop music, you are quick to compare the two movie. You need to watch the movie again and take it for what its worth. Question, “Why do (white people) love to lump things together, you always have to catergorize? [Sorta like lumping all white people together by saying they tend to categorize things?] The movie is about someone who went down the wrong path in life, then realize they had other ambitions and strive to turn their life around. Its not rocket science.


I replied to Michael to tell him that “someone who went down the wrong path in life, then realize they had other ambitions and strive to turn their life around” is what “8 Mile” was about, too, thus proving my point. When he replied this time, his e-mail said his name was Yusef Shaheed. Here’s what he said:

No! In 8 mile “Rabbit” (Eminem) had a “square” job. After the battle at the end of the movie he went back to work. [Whereas in “Hustle & Flow,” the protagonist continues onward with his career in rap, though he still misses being a pimp.]

Whatever. Anyway, next I got an e-mail from someone whose name line read “Your ignorant” (my ignorant what?), at e-mail address “don’” — anonymous and un-reply-able, in other words, like all the best editorials. The subject line: “Nieve.” The text, which contains a vulgar but hilarious expression, is as follows:

Your current movie review on the new flick “Hustle and Flow” begins with you stating: “Hustle & Flow” is a movie about rap music, which means, perforce, that it is also about guns and sex.” Well Eric, obviously you don’t understand s*** about rapping, which is part of the Hip Hop culture. [Wha?! Rapping is part of the hip hop culture?!] For those of you ignorant dumba**es(yourself) who don’t understand much about hip hop or “rap”, [you know, “rap,” as the kids call it] just keep to listening to your Simon & Garfunkel CD’s back in your suburban home. You must be thinking, “if your so hip hoppish then how do you know about Simon & Garfunkel?” It’s because you blow dogs for quarters. Find a new profession you ugly a** Jerry Seinfeld lookin muthaf***a. Bye

I was, in fact, wondering how someone so hip hoppish knew about Simon & Garfunkel. Turns out it’s because I do lewd things to dogs in exchange for 25-cent pieces. Who knew? (Where would a dog even get a quarter? And is that really what he would spend it on? I’m just sayin’.)